Wives of Famous Men

Happy holidays! This week we’ll keep it short and sweet with a touch of humor. As I go about thinking of women in Jacksonville, many of the main players were the wives of famous men. Unlike their husbands, however, they left few records as to how they actually felt about their families, their marriages, andContinue reading “Wives of Famous Men”


Infant Schools – or Daycare in 1830s Jacksonville

Last month, you read about women coming to Jacksonville in the 1830s to teach. This week, we’ll add one more to the list: Miss Caroline Blood. Her name first caught my eye when I found this ad, placed by Sarah Crocker in the Illinois Patriot on 19 October 1833. Just above it is an ad for an InfantContinue reading “Infant Schools – or Daycare in 1830s Jacksonville”

One town, two worlds

On November 1, 1848, twenty-two-year-old Mary Ann Lucas arrived the Morgan County Poor Farm, blind and destitute. Her widowed mother, Elizabeth, had fallen on hard times. It was up to her younger sister, nineteen-year-old Amanda Lucas, to support her mother, sister, and twelve-year-old brother, John. By the end of November, Amanda accumulated a debt of $16.50. She purchased shoes,Continue reading “One town, two worlds”

Quenching the fire in her heart: The Ladies’ Association for Educating Females

One of my big questions in American Athena is: What happens when you have a community of educated females? Do women agitate for and enjoy more social, political, and economic rights? Does it affect how they shape their institutions and move in public spaces?